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Homework Help: Nuclear Physics

  1. May 9, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An alpha particle is bombarded on 14
    N. As a result a 17
    O nucleus is formed, and a particle is emitted. This particle is a: (a) neutron (b) proton (c) electron (d) positron. The answer is given as (b).
    2. Relevant equations
    The solution must take into account that the mass numbers have to balance on both sides of the equation.


    3. The attempt at a solution

    (c) and (d) get ruled out because they do not lead to a balance in mass numbers. Since the balance would be possible for both options (a) and (b) I need some clues as to why only (b) is acceptable.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2010 #2

    phyzguy

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    What about the nuclear charge?
     
  4. May 9, 2010 #3
    The mass number alone does not give an indication of the charge. The problem does not state the atomic numbers. Had this been given the question of my doubt would not have arisen. Looking forward to further inputs from you. Thanks.
     
  5. May 10, 2010 #4

    phyzguy

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    Science Advisor

    The problem does not give the atomic numbers directly, but it tells you that the three nuclei are Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Helium (alpha particle). From this information you know the atomic numbers.
     
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